Monthly Archives

February 2019

Improve your SEO ranking with a rock solid online review strategy.

Improve Your SEO With a Rock Solid Online Review Strategy

By | Marketing Strategy

Whether you sell products, provide services or have a brick and mortar business your customers visit, online business reviews matter play an important role in a company’s ranking factor in local SEO. A 2018 local consumer survey by BrightLocal found that 86 percent of consumers read reviews for local businesses and consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business.

Having a Rock Solid Online Review Strategy Matters

It’s important to always keep refreshing your digital marketing strategy with new practices and techniques. Having a rock solid online review strategy to gather Yelp reviews, Google Business reviews, Facebook reviews, testimonials for your website and more can improve your online rating scale, increase sales, and establish a healthy cadence of positive reviews posted.

When people read positive reviews, the next step often taken is a website visit or business location visit. According to Propecta, 81 percent of B2B purchase cycles, and 89 percent of shoppers, start with a web search.  

Two of the most important things search engines look at when weighing reviews are quantity and sentiment. The quantity, or overall number of reviews used to be the most important factor, but as of 2017, sentiment now matters even more.

Lastly, review cadence is also important. Your business needs consistent online review activity over time, rather than a spike and dip in reviews. Keeping this in mind when developing an online review strategy will help you identify the best practices and most feasible tactics to implement for your company.

Understand Why People Leave Reviews To Benefit Your Online Review Strategy

When it comes to leaving reviews, it’s the tale of two extremes. People leave reviews when they love a brand and want to celebrate it, or, when they hate a brand and want to warn others. In other words, people with strong emotions about a brand or company’s products or services will go out of their way to sing their praises or warn other customers about their experience.

When executing your online review strategy, be prepared to take the good with the bad. We know that it takes about 10 positive reviews to nullify one bad review, so keep that in mind when working to gain new reviews for your company.

Focusing Your Online Review Strategy on SEO

For the purpose of SEO, your primary focus should be on increasing the number of Google reviews. Your secondary focus should be on platforms like Yelp, Facebook, TripAdvisor etc.

We know that it takes about 10 positive reviews to mitigate damage from one negative review. We’ll need to keep that ratio in mind as we set a goal for how many positive reviews we need to earn over the next few months.

With the goal of improving SEO, reviews should go ONLY to the business listing on Google. The question isn’t “what is the best platform,” it’s “what is the best platform for SEO?”

How To Get More Reviews

Ask for them. The old adage “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” rings especially true when it comes to receiving reviews. Increasing the number of reviews you have is a fundamental part of a rock solid online review strategy.

Here are some ideas and best practices to get you started:

  • Before you ask, know when it’s appropriate to ask for a review. First, determine which past and present clients have something positive to say about their experience working with your team.
  • Another route is to identify past and present colleagues and members of your professional network that would welcome the opportunity to leave a few kind words about your working relationship.

It’s all about timing. Consider implementing some sort of timeline rollout in your online review strategy to keep you organized.

  • Know when clients are most likely to respond and actually leave a review. For instance, after a big win, at a major company milestone, on their anniversary date, or after a big project is completed.
  • Everyone’s always going to be busy. Don’t let that deter you from reaching out. Trying to identify a “slower time of year” never works, so just reach out then to ask for their help with learning an online review for your business.
  • If it is a busier time of year, manage your expectations in terms of immediacy for a response. The key is to keep following up.
  • Once you have identified the best time to reach out and which clients to reach out to, make note of this in your Customer Relationship Management system or internal timeline calendar so you don’t forget to reach out and/or follow up.

Lastly, make it easy for customers to post a review. Provide a direct link for your customers and colleagues to easily post an online review about your business.

Here is an easy step-by-step guide to simplifying this process:

Expanding further on this, another idea is to include a CTA in your email signature. Here’s a sample prompt you can simply copy and paste into your existing signature:

“Have feedback for [YOUR COMPANY NAME]? Tell us how we’re doing by leaving a review on Google. [HYPERLINK TO YOUR COMPANY’S GOOGLE REVIEW PAGE].

Responding to Online Reviews

A review, whether it’s good, lukewarm, or bad, means that people are proactively interacting with your brand. Best practices suggest that all reviews are worth a response. The approach should be different depending on the tonality of the review.

If reviews are left on other sites, set up an alert for when they are posted. Then, get in touch with reviewers personally to thank them for leaving a review and ask them to copy/paste it to Google Business reviews with a provided link.

How to respond to a positive review:

  • Be quick with your response
  • Be warm and personal
  • Say thank you
  • Talk about “next time” and “in the future”
  • Make it actionable on your part

How to respond to a bad review:

  • 57 percent of the time, bad ratings relate to customer service
  • In your response, depersonalize the interaction. Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about the business.  
  • Be empathetic and proactive
  • Be actionable. Say what you are going to do to make it right
  • Talk about “next time” and “in the future”

How to respond to a lukewarm review:

  • Consider it like a negative review
  • If you didn’t wow them, the service was disappointing in some way so follow the same methodology in which you would respond to a bad review
  • The upside is that they found it worth their time to leave a review, meaning they’re open to giving you a second chance

There’s no time like the present to begin developing an effective video content strategy for your small business. Schedule a free strategy review with our team so we can help you make 2019 the year that your content marketing strategy produces results!

video_content_strategy

Say Hello to Short-Form Video Content Strategy

By | Marketing Strategy

The question is no longer whether or not video should be a part of your marketing plan. Video is here to stay. The question we have to answer is how much video do you need and how video content strategy will integrate with other aspects of your marketing plan.

Short-form video content is a rising trend in 2019, thanks to enhancements in technology and increased accessibility on all platforms. Social platforms like Facebook and Instagram now favor and enable native video content. The newest social platform, Snapchat, only allows users to post “micro-videos” that disappear after 24 hours. With these content platforms focusing their efforts to make short-form videos more accessible, even more users are creating and consuming video content.

A recent research report by the Altimeter Group found that short-form video content was the best performing content in terms of engagement across every industry and every geography. It raanks as more engaging than blog posts, whitepapers, and podcasts. Developing a solid video content strategy is a powerful marketing tool that shouldn’t be dismissed.

So, let’s get to it!

What is Short-Form Video Content?

Short-form video content is anything short enough to hold a viewer’s attention span, but long enough to get your point across in an engaging way. Typically, this lands in the 15 seconds to two minute time frame.

Short-form video content is found on YouTube and popular social media platforms like Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook, however, brands also leverage this type of content for their websites and blogs. Google, of course, favors YouTube content and even LinkedIn users are embracing video content.

Short-form video performs exceptionally well because it allows a brand to get its point across in a visual and very personal way. Another major advantage is that it forces companies to deliver their brand message in a memorable way. 

Benefits of a Short-Form Video Content Strategy

Human attention spans have rapidly decreased over recent years, thanks in part to the increased popularity and use of social media and smartphones. A study by Microsoft reported the average human being now has an attention span of eight seconds. And, according to Jampp, our attention span has been rapidly decreasing over the last 15 years and at a rate of 88 percent year-over-year.

Video content strategy offers an opportunity to humanize and personalize your brand identity. Another benefit of using video as part of your digital marketing plan is that it creates more natural opportunities for email marketing. Research shows that adding video to email can boost click-through rates by 200-300 percent and accelerates a company’s sales cycle.

Short-form video also helps with your Google and SEO ranking. YouTube videos tend to rank high in Google search results and the most popular type of videos on YouTube are short-form. Additionally, embedding videos into your website’s landing pages can help increase the time visitors stay on your site, which contributes to search engine rankings.

How to Make a Great Short-Form Video

Don’t overthink it when creating a short-form video. Remember to keep it short, anywhere from 15 seconds to 2 minutes is best. This is great for camera shy executives that a company’s message should be coming from in a video for the brand.

Remember to make it meaningful. Videos that create an emotional response work best, especially on social media platforms. Video content that evokes an emotional response from its viewers also has the best chance to go “viral.”

Here are a few more examples of a short-form video highlighting B2B services from some of our clients, JWB Family Law and HipHire:

Types of Short-Form Content to Include in Your Video Content Strategy

Here are some ideas of different short-form content you can start creating for your video content strategy in 2019:

How-to videos for your company’s products, tools or services.


Videos showing the benefits and features of your products or services.


Behind-the-scenes video of your team in action, such as your company’s manufacturing/production line or featuring a day in the life at your business.


Customer testimonials done interview-style with past or present customers, partners, and clients sharing their positive experience with your company.


Messages from C-level executives expressing gratitude for company milestones and/or wins at the end of a quarter or fiscal year.


Teasers for upcoming events or your company’s new products, tools, and/or services.


Live-streaming from events of your company’s presence at industry conferences, speaking engagements, or tradeshows.

There’s no time like the present to begin developing an effective video content strategy for your small business. Schedule a free strategy review with our team so we can help you make 2019 the year that your content marketing strategy produces results!